The woman’s cycle flows through four phases every month (although truth be told, I feel that every day is a new cycle in and of itself, but for ease of discourse, let’s come to the traditional four). Within each phase, our bodies change, and that also means that how we support our bodies during these days can also change. In our last post on this topic, we focused on the menstrual phase or the dark moon/bleed in the woman’s cycle. Today we will begin to dive into the Follicular phase, our Inner Spring.
Once we’ve spent a few days resting and taking time for ourselves during the menstrual phase, we slowly start to move out of it and into the follicular phase. The follicular phase occurs when the female body creates more estrogen. This also comes with a boost in energy and clearer mental focus. During this phase, we have a focus on the liver which will allow the body to better process the estrogen that it creates. Working with plants and herbs during this phase can help keep the body vibrating at a high frequency, and the energy moving smoothly.
*Important The Feminine Code and its authors are not doctors, so be sure to check in with your own primary healthcare practitioner before taking any recommendations here.
Plants carry with them deep wisdom and they communicate that wisdom to us through many ways. When working with plants, it is important to listen to your own body and how it receives each herb or plant - it can respond differently depending on your own chemistry.
An important reminder is that when you start working with herbs, or herbalism in general, is that regularity is key. The body can take time to become receptive to the medicine from that plant, and so, when working with herbs, always consider a longer-term basis. Building it up in your body over weeks, or even months, is when you will start to feel the effects and benefits.
When it comes to the follicular phase, herbs and plants that can help clean and detox the excess estrogen in the body are key. These are five of our favorite herbs to use during your follicular phase, to support your detoxing organs during this phase.
Dandelion is known all over the world for its cleansing properties. Drinking dandelion tea can greatly help the liver cleanse excess estrogen during the follicular phase. Dandelion also helps digestion, boosts the immune system, and also regulates hypertension.
Red Clover is another great detoxifying herb. It helps purify the blood and is a great help when it comes to alleviating skin conditions like acne which can crop up when our estrogen is out of balance. Red Clover is great support for healthy hormones and a protector against certain toxins.
Evening Primrose is a wonderful plant to help reduce inflammation and bring ease to the body. It is often taken as an oil and is a great support for women's hormonal health in general. Evening Primrose also balances the female system and brings ease to certain ailments like fatigue.
Burdock root is another great liver-assisting herb. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that helps bring ease to the body, especially joints> Burdock also brings fluidity to the lymphatic system, by helping the body’s draining system.
An easy way to start working with some herbs is to see which are appropriate for infusing to make a herbal tea. For herbs that are appropriate for drinking, you can steep 1 Tsp to several Tbs of dried plants (you can even make a blend). Depending on your preference, it is a great way for the body to absorb the properties of each of the plants. You can let your herbs steep for 10 - 20 minutes, keeping in mind that the longer you let it steep, the more the water will be enhanced in taste as well as its nutritious plant properties.
When working with roots, steeping won't be enough for the properties to release into the water. In this case, you can boil your roots for up to 10 minutes, in a pot that will allow the roots to release their healing properties into the water.
Another way to bring ease during your cycle, and especially after your bleeding phase, taking a moment to cleanse the Yoni by Yoni Steaming. This practice is a great way to help the womb release anything stagnant in the space. You can read more about how to prepare steam for yourself, at home, here.
During this second phase, your energy is starting to come back and you might feel more motivated to do a great many things, especially those ideas which arose during your menstrual rest. Remember to pace yourself, and stay balanced as you move through this wonderful phase with more energy that will last until the luteal phase.